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Comment MIT license? (Score 1) 103 103

Dear Twitter: if you don't want to use a patent to beat other companies into submission, grant an irrevocable license for anyone to use it for FreeAsInBeer in perpetuity. No one would be able to prevent you from using the idea protected by the patent (defense + 1) and you wouldn't be able to prevent others from using it (offense - 1).

Comment because, what we need are more taxes (Score 1) 577 577

Tell you what, figure out a way to temporarily fund the government cybercrime squad using general funds. After 2 years on the job, ask the people who would pay if they support a tax to keep the cybercrime squad around.

If they want my vote, I'm going to need to see some impressive, worthwhile results.

Comment just build it into the business model (Score 2, Interesting) 406 406

Dear iPhone insurer: Your customers want to upgrade to the latest model each year, so just build a 'free' annual upgrade into your price. Instead of taking a hammer to their phones, your customers will send you their *working* phones (which you can resell) and you'll deal in bigger volume, perhaps enjoying some added economies of scale.

Comment the publishers should sell used games (Score 1) 664 664

There's a really simple solution for the publishers: become the preferred buyer and seller of their own used games. It would offer them another opportunity to interact with their customers, sell them another game, see how long they are playing, and ask them about what they liked and didn't like. Oh, and they'll earn the revenue instead of Gamestop or Amazon.

Comment the AI team (Score 1) 398 398

My favorite 'AI experience' was the first time I encountered the marines in the original Half-Life single-player game. They chattered and moved as a team, they reacted to my grenades, they reacted to being hurt i.e. "man down!", "fall back!". I suspect, however, that level designers deserve the greater part of the credit for making those NPCs look smart (and fun to fight).


A game's systems work together to create an experience--in order for one to shine the others must be well designed, crafted, and integrated. Sometimes fixing a camera, tuning NPC stats, or adding some scripted chatter will do a lot more for the perceived intelligence of the opponent than a more sophisticated AI algorithm.

I think it's easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal (making a fun game) when coding AI, because, let's face it, making brilliant AI is a sexier challenge than paying attention to all the little details the make a level play well. Ironically, one of the problems in game AI these days is how to make the AI a little dumber (but not a lot dumber). It's easy to make a chess AI that will beat most people, but getting one's ass handed to one 30 times in a row is tiring to say the least. On the other hand, an AI that can be beaten handily isn't much fun either.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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